Peru

Ollantaytambo at dusk

Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley, Peru, is the jumping off point for those who trek  the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and those, like us, who catch the train.

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Is that our train? Ollantaytambo, Peru.

Many tourists pass through Ollantaytambo without stopping. I’m glad we opted to stay on for two extra nights —it’s very beautiful.

It was here that Manco Inca staged some of his most dramatic resistance to the conquistadors, famously flooding the valley to stop their advance. And it’s from here that he fled into the jungle to Vilcacamba. (You can read more about this is in the book  The Last Days of the Incas.)

Inca ruins dot the surrounding hill tops. The Fortress is the largest and towers above the village. All day lines of tourists snake around the terraces, only emptying out at dusk.

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Inca terraces above Ollantaytambo

At the end of the day, locals wandered past our guest house towards home.

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The door to our guest house, and workers winding their way home, Ollantaytambo

Around the corner, vendors were still hopeful of a sale, although it was getting late.

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Street scene, Ollantaytambo, Peru

This young Mum took her chance for a rest on the doorstep and still managed a smile.

A happy Mum at the end of the day, Ollantaytambo

As with any self-respecting tourist town, there are endless opportunities for a little souvenir shopping.

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Souvenirs for any taste, Ollantaytambo

This burro did not want to get off the tray of the truck —he refused to budge. His owners were still there attempting to beguile him out when we passed by again twenty minutes later. I tried my best not to laugh … and wondered if he might be descended from that  “first and foremost of all the hacks in the world”—Don Quixote”s Rocinante. (You may laugh at my foolery, but the burros here are descended from the burros of Spain, first brought to South America by the conquistadors.)

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Are all burros this stubborn? Ollantaytambo, Peru.

As the day came to an end, we stood at the edge of the town, looking up the valley, towards Cusco, and plotted our next day’s adventures.

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The Sacred Valley from Ollantaytambo.

It was, we agreed, time to get off the beaten track for a while.

Thursday Doors

Monday walk with Jo

15 replies »

  1. When I lived in Mexico, I learned the pueblo people don’t like having their photo taken because they believe the camera steals their souls. I thought that interesting. And I was careful to always ask. Sometimes the men laughed and said yes, but rarely women. Nice you were able to capture the young woman. All these photos are amazing, Jill. I’ve never traveled to Peru – maybe some day – but you’ve given me a wonderful glimpse. Thank you.

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    • Ha, that makes sense to me, Janet, thank-you. For some reason, I just didn’t joint the dots in this particular situation. I think the right thing to do is take the photo down and I’ve done that. I’m glad you have enjoyed my photos from this part of Peru. It’s a fascinating place to visit.

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  2. I’m glad you stopped, too, and then shared some of your experiences. Yes, I like the doors, but I enjoyed the whole thing. Interesting that so many people closed their eyes or covered their faces when you took a photo.

    janet

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  3. Thanks for sharing these photos – after reading your post I just had to look up the Battle of Ollantaytambo to understand how Manco Inco flooded the valley. It’s really fascinating.

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  4. The scenery is the star of the show, Jill! That backdrop is incredible. 🙂 🙂
    I wondered if perhaps the villagers were timid of having their souls stolen by the camera, but that lovely young lady with the child has no such worries. Many thanks for sharing! I’m looking forward to more.

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